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Match Reports

Match Report : 01/01/2014

1 January 2014

The new year began brilliantly for Jason Puncheon who netted his first goal in red and blue to earn Palace a hard-fought point against Norwich City at Selhurst Park.

The game was played amidst torrential rain at times and that made things difficult for all involved, but Puncheon's equaliser from the penalty spot just before half-time cancelled out Bradley Johnson's opener to clinch a draw.

Understandably the conditions hampered both sides and chances were few and far between in the opening half an hour, with the only goalmouth action coming in the form of Mile Jedinak bending a free-kick over bar and Sebastien Bassong heading straight at Julian Speroni.

But after an uninspiring start Palace nearly opened the scoring when Puncheon won the ball on the edge of the area and picked out Cameron Jerome at the back post, but the ball skidded off the slick surface and caused the striker to mis-cue his shot wide.

However it was the Canaries that grabbed the first goal of the game on 38 minutes. Gary Hooper won the ball from Danny Gabbidon inside the area and cut the ball back for Johnson who smacked it towards goal and was fortunate to see it clip the post and beat Speroni.

But the lead was short-lived as the Eagles equalised with two minutes left in the half from the penalty spot. As Puncheon whipped in a corner Leroy Fer shoved Jedinak in the back and Mike Dean was left with no alternative than to point to the spot. Puncheon stepped up and sent John Ruddy the wrong way from 12 yards to register his first Eagles goal.

After the break Speroni saved a tame effort by Nathan Redmond, Jerome blazed over after a corner landed in the sodden turf and the ball stopped dead, surprising both sets of players, and Puncheon dragged a half-volley wide as Tony Pulis' side began to cope with the poor conditions.

With the scores level though Norwich continued to press for the lead and Hooper forced Speroni to get down low with a shot on the turn but their hopes were dashed with eight minutes remaining when Fer was shown a second yellow card for a bad challenge on Jedinak and give Palace the advantage for the remainder of the game.

But with the rain continuing to hammer down, Pulis' boys couldn't conjure up the chance needed to find the net and had to start 2014 with a draw.

Palace: Speroni, Mariappa, Gabbidon, Delaney, Ward, Bolasie (Jonny Williams 80), Jedinak, Dikgacoi (Parr 46), Puncheon, Chamakh, Jerome (Gayle 61). Unused subs: Price, Moxey, Bannan, Phillips.

Norwich: Ruddy, Whittaker, Turner (R Bennett 54), Bassong, Olsson, Fer, Johnson, Snodgrass, Hoolahan (Elmander 69), Redmond, Hooper (Martin 85). Unused subs: Bunn, Martin, Josh Murphy, Becchio, van Wolfswinkel. 

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